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Jobless rate drops to 7.9 percent

Jobless rate drops to 7.9 percent

ATLANTA -- Metro Atlanta's unemployment rate dropped to 7.9 percent in March, down four-tenths of a percentage point from 8.3 percent in February.

In Clayton County, the jobless rate was 9.9 percent in March.

State labor officials said Thursday the rate declined because of an increase in the number of jobs and fewer new layoffs.

Metro Athens had the state's lowest jobless rate at 5.9 percent.

The Heart of Georgia-Altamaha region had the highest at 10.4 percent.

1 dead, 2 injured in gas station shooting

REX, Ga. -- One person is dead after a triple shooting at a Clayton County gas station on Monday night. 

According to Clayton County Police, the shooting happened at the Texaco Gas Station on the 6500 block of Highway 42 near I-675 at around 8 p.m. 

Authorities say three people were shot and two of them sustained "serious injuries."

One victim was airlifted to Atlanta Medical Center, while the other was transported via ambulance.

The injured victims were identified as Keith Davis and Sheldon Thomas. The deceased's name has not been released, pending notification of his family.

Authorities have not established a suspect or a motive in this incident.

I-75 toll lanes proposed

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Transportation is considering adding express toll lanes to I-75 in Henry and Clayton counties.

The lanes would be reversible to add more lanes for traffic heading north toward Atlanta during the morning rush hour and south in the afternoons.

The proposed 75 Express Lanes Project would add barrier-separated toll lanes along I-75 from SR155 to SR138 in Henry and Clayton counties.

Lanes would be tolled on a variable pricing system -- just as they are on a stretch of I-85 -- meaning that when congestion and demand is heaviest, tolls would be higher.

GDOT has scheduled public hearing open house meetings Tuesday and Thursday to discuss the plans.

The Tuesday meeting is at Eagles Landing High School in McDonough from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday's meeting is at Hilton Garden Inn, 95 Highway 81 West, McDonough, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Flint River near top of 2013 endangered waterways list

Flint River near top of 2013 endangered waterways list

LAS VEGAS -- An advocacy group is calling the Colorado River the nation's most endangered waterway. Georgia's Flint River ranks second.

An annual American Rivers report being released Wednesday sites drought and demand as problems facing the Colorado River.

The federal Bureau of Reclamation said the same thing last December.

The Colorado River supplies cities including Denver, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix. The report says that over the next 50 years, the river will run short of supply for the more than 40 million people it serves in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Already, the river is drained of nearly every drop before it reaches Mexico.

The Flint River in Georgia ranks second in the American Rivers report, due to the threat that it'll run dry. The San Salba River in Texas ranks third.

Harrison named new Clayton State men's basketball coach

MORROW, Ga. -- The Clayton State Department of Athletics and Athletic Director Carl McAloose announced the hiring of Paul Harrison today as the program's new men's basketball coach.

Harrison, a native of Larchmont, NY, most recently served as the associate head coach at NCAA Division I Wofford College and becomes the fourth coach in the 23-year history of the Laker men's basketball program.

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to lead the men's basketball program at Clayton State University and would like to thank President Tim Hynes, Athletic Director Carl McAloose and the search committee for trusting me with this task," said Harrison. "My family and I look forward to getting started."

39 companies sign Hire a Ga. Hero pledge

ATLANTA -- Nearly 40 companies have signed a pledge committing to hire local veterans.

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The Hire a Georgia Hero campaign encourages businesses to match veterans with appropriate work opportunities. So far, 39 companies have pledged their support of the program, which is sponsored by the Governor's Office of Workforce Development.

A complete list of participating companies and open positions can be found at operationworkforce.com.

Authorities search for Stockbridge purse thief

HENRY COUNTY, Ga. -- Authorities are searching for a woman they believe stole employees purses from a local rehab center. 

Henry County Police have released a photo of the woman leaving the Best Buy store in Morrow and getting into a white SUV. According to authorities the woman used a victim's debit card at the store. 

Police say the woman stole the purses from the Piedmont Henry and Laurel Park Rehab Center in Stockbridge on January 21. 

The woman is described as a "light-skinned black female" with shoulder length dark hair and blonde highlights. 

Anyone with information on this suspect is being asked to contact Detective Combs at 770-288-8261 or via email